Home Health My dog ​​has disappeared from Instagram: “He is not the minimum age to be on social media”

My dog ​​has disappeared from Instagram: “He is not the minimum age to be on social media”

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My dog ​​has disappeared from Instagram: “He is not the minimum age to be on social media”

Who remembers poor Boo, the very sweet Pomeranian who died in 2019 at 12 years of age and managed to collect 500,000 followers on Instagram and 16 million on Facebook? Maybe a few. Yet Meta’s social network is still chock full of pet profiles, cats and dogs above all. An old survey from 2017 reported that more than one in ten owners, 11%, claimed to have opened an account to their quadruped. Yet even those are not safe from Meta’s artificial intelligence trap, ready to mistake them for children under 13. How it happened to us. Although this, although convoluted, is fortunately a story with a happy ending.

But first step back. The vast majority of those accounts, just like common users, are certainly not influencers with thousands of followers, as they garner a few hundred followers. If it is true that these are not always deserving profiles, because animals are often ridiculed in order to snatch some likes and even that is a form of abuse, on the whole they are often profiles through which to share one’s passion for quadrupeds, updated from time to time, with shots that the owners would have done anyway as a souvenir. The posts cataloged under the hashtag #dogs are on the other hand 155 millionunder #dogsofinstagram 282. Just like those of @artuilcanemy half-caste account that less than 24 hours ago got emptied from Instagram and was on for hours irrecoverable. By the unquestionable judgment of the brain of the social network “based on the information you have provided, this account does not meet the mentioned requirement [quello dell’età minima di 13 anni, nda] and it cannot be recovered ”.

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Instagram uses facial recognition to verify the age of users

by Simone Cosimi



The accusation against Arthur the dog: he is not 13 years old

Exactly, Arthur is accused of not having the minimum age of 13 (actually in Italy there are 14) in order to have an account on Instagram. In fact, he has yet to blow out 6 candles but, in fact, he is a dog. And the story that led to the brutal cancellation of the account gives a lot to think about how the system can really be effective in the cases that matter, those dedicated to identifying children who are on social media when they shouldn’t or who come into contact with children. adults for example in direct messaging. In this regard, the social network has just launched some news, for now operating only in the United States, which could help avoid these small and grotesque incidents.

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The stages of cancellation (and recovery, not for everyone)

As for the surreal misadventure of poor Arthur, this is the gist of the story. First there was an autonomous intervention by the platform’s artificial intelligence: suspecting that it could be a minor, towards the end of May the system requested the undersigned, who by including the deceased profile managed a total of three, to provide useful information to verify the age of the protagonist of the account. The explanations in the notes (“this is a dog’s account”) and the loading of the identity document of the owner. In addition to the obvious connection of the dog account with the human one with the main account. Nor was the intervention of the Instagram press office, from which we asked for clarification and help. If everything seemed to have unlocked after a few days, at the end of June the twist: the profile was again disconnected from the main one and an attempt to hang it up with the dedicated ends was shown the terrible sentence. Account canceled and unrecoverable. Game over.

We finally managed to save the account after many hours and only following a further intervention by the Instagram press office: certainly not a standard route for general users, on the contrary. If we were any users, without contacts within the company, we would have no way of appealing for removal. And the point of the story obviously remains this.

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A mess like the censorship of art nudes

So (almost) goodbye to those 112 shots (and who knows if I’ll find them all on the phone, there were many as a puppy), ai 668 loyal followers and to the more than 2 thousand users that Arthur followed with interest. Even via the web, the response that went out for hours trying to connect to the profile, before the recovery in the Cesarini area, was a relentless “Sorry, this page is not available. It is possible that the link you followed is corrupted or that the Page has been removed ”. The Instagram engineers were therefore able to recover the profile from the digital ravine into which they had thrown it, not without arousing a certain displeasure in those who had lovingly cared for it for 6 years. The idea is to have ended up in one of those messes that often happen on Instagram and Facebook, for example with the censorship of nude images: works of art mistaken for pornography, in this case little dogs mistaken for children under 13. While the social network is full of minors under 13 in the flesh, despite all the tools put in place to identify them. And that evidently, either due to the zeal of the AI ​​or the carelessness of some moderator, do not seem exactly dog-proof. Maybe it’s time to move to TikTok.

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